148th Fighter Wing Braces for Potential Furloughs

By KBJR News 1

February 21, 2013 Updated Feb 21, 2013 at 6:49 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth is bracing for the potential impact of deep spending cuts at the Federal Level.

The deadline for the automatic spending cuts is a week away.

Top officials with the Minnesota National Guard say sequestration could force furloughs for 54 percent of the Guard's full-time work force, nearly 1,700 employees.

At the 148th Fighter Wing, that means a potential impact on 241 of those employees

Officials say it will influence the readiness of not only service members, but equipment, facilities and training.

Capt. John Hobot, a spokesperson for the Minnesota National Guard, said it's a waiting game at this point and they have to see what happens on the Federal level before making any adjustments.

Capt. Hobot said employees have been alerted.

"The full time force; federal technicians and civilian employees, are aware of the impacts of sequestration and specifically furloughs and we've briefed them on what could happen," Capt. Hobot said.

Capt. Hobot said the National Guard will continue to ensure the safety of Minnesota and the nation should furloughs happen.

In a letter from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to the military workforce on Wednesday, he warned the Department of Defense will be forced to place the vast majority of its civilian workforce on administrative furlough.

Secretary Panetta added the department is doing everything possible to limit the worst effects on DoD personnel.

The Minnesota National Guard operates in 63 communities throughout the state.

Read the full letter.

Kevin Jacobsen
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